Dale Carnegie book was first published in 1937, but his teachings stay up to date.
How to Win Friends and Influence People is the book that has influenced me the most in the subject of human interaction.
Even if the word “influence” in the title may sound negative. This book is actually pretty positive.
It’s guide on how to behave in order to enrich your life of friendship but also to bring joy to the lives of others.
I hope this book will have as much of an impact on your interpersonal relationships as it has been for me.
Fundamental Techniques In Handling People
- Don’t criticize, condemn or complain
Dale explains that whatever humans do, they will never blame themselves, so why try to convince them.
They will always have a justification for their actions.
The author explains:
Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
Carnegie points out that humans are creatures of emotion, so they can’t handle criticism.
He adds that criticism is easy but having character and self-control to refrain yourself is harder.
This is the first lesson in making friends.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation
To make his point about this principle, he goes over the saying that people do only things that they want.
So, if you want them to do something you have to start by giving them what they want.
And what is that everyone wants?
The feeling of importance.
He says if you can give people the sense of importance they need, they can go a long way in their gratitude.
Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.
Praise people in private as well as in public.
Try leaving a friendly trail of little sparks of gratitude on your daily trips, You will be surprised how they will et small flames of friendship that will be rose beacons on your next visit.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want
Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absurd. Of course, you are interested in what you want.
You are eternally interested in it. But no one else is. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want.
Once we understand this we can conclude that the only way to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
Tomorrow you may want to persuade somebody to do something. Before you speak, pause and ask yourself: “How can I make this person want to do it”
In your communications, always begin with what your interlocutor wants, needs, or what he wins from what you are suggesting. How you can help them.
Dale ends up this chapter by emphasizing that if you can get only one thing out of this book is:
An increased tendency to think always in terms of the other people’s point of view, and see things from their angle.
Six ways to make people like you
- Become genuinely interested in other people
A show of interest, as with every other principle of human relation, must be sincere.
It must pay off not only for the person showing the interest but for the person receiving the attention. It is a two-way street both parties benefit from.
Whatever the person’s status you have to follow the same line of conduct. All of us, be we workers in a factory, clerks in an office, or even a king upon his throne – all of us like people who admire us.
If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people – things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness.
Whatever if it is saying a few words in a native language, finding the birthday of your co-workers, or researching on the internet an answer they are looking for.
Dale explains “The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.”
As we know actions speak louder than words, and a smile says “I like you, you make me happy. I am glad to see you. Let’s be friends”
That is why dogs make such a hit. They are so glad to see us that they almost jump out of their skins. So, naturally, we are glad to see them. A baby smile has the same effect.
If you are someone who always has a frown and is seen as a terrible grouch, a trick to get you smiling is to do it at someone every hour of the day for a week.
Smiling will make you become a happier man, a rich man, richer in friendships and happiness.
Carnegie also cites William James that said “Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not. Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there”.
The author ends the chapter by saying:
Your smile is a messenger of your goodwill. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl, or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds.
Especially when that someone is under pressure from his bosses, his customers, his teachers or parents or children, a smile can help him realize that all is not hopeless – that there is joy in the world.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
Remembering a person’s name and calling it easily, pays a subtle and very effective compliment to him.
This can be made clear when you think of nobles and magnates who supported artists, musicians, and authors so that their creative works would be dedicated to them.
We should be aware of the magic contained in a name and realize that this single item is wholly and completely owned by the person with whom we are dealing . . . and nobody else. The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others.
This gives you a good start when you start making friends.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. It’s the easiest way to become a good conversationalist.
All people want is an interested listener, so they can expand their ego and tell about the things they have done.
Listen carefully, be genuinely interested, even more than paying close attention, be warm in your approbation, and lavish in your praise.
We merely want a friendly, sympathetic listener to whom we can unburden ourselves. That is all we want when we are in trouble. That is frequently all the irritated customer wants, and the dissatisfied employee or the hurt friend.
So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener. To be interesting, be interested.
Ask questions that they will like to answer. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.
When it comes to friends or family we have a tendency to forget this principle, but don’t.
Concentrate on listening.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
Having a wide range and diversity of knowledge is a powerful skill to have.
Whenever Theodore Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested.
That is the professional way of making friends.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely
Ask yourself “What is there about him that I can honestly admire?”
There shouldn’t always be an ulterior motive. The gratification of radiating a little happiness and passing on a bit of honest appreciation should be enough.
We want the approval of those with whom we come in contact and recognition of our true worth.
Moreover a feeling that we are important in our little world.
We don’t want to listen to cheap, insincere flattery, but we do crave sincere appreciation.
The unvarnished truth is that almost all the people you meet, feel superior to you in some way.
And a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you realize their importance, and recognize it sincerely.
There is one way to get the best of an argument – and that is to avoid it. Avoid it as you would avoid rattlesnakes and earthquakes.
You can’t win friends by arguing. You can’t because if you lose it, you lose it; and if you win it, you lose it.
Why? Well, by triumphing the other man you have made him feel inferior.
You have hurt his pride and he will resent your triumph.
So figure it out for yourself. Which would you rather have, an academic, theatrical victory or a person’s goodwill?
You can seldom have both.
If you want to read Dale Carnegie book you can buy it here: